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Slightly overrated, but still entertaining
Following her daughter's death, a mother's guilt and Catholic repression keeps her from admitting that her jealous and emotional older daughter is responsible even when a similar killing spree strikes the neighborhood forcing them to deal with their issues.
This one here wasn't all that bad of a slasher effort even though it is somewhat overrated. What this one really does get right is the rather domineering and oppressive tone featured here, with the film so heavily steeped in Catholicism and repentance that it works incredibly well at generating a great atmosphere throughout here. Not only is there a depiction of Christ or a cross fixed prominently in just about every sequence here, sometimes both together in pictures, paintings or statues but the whole film revolves around the jealousy depicted towards the First Holy Communion as that sets the whole film in motion. Likewise, the inability of the characters to recognize or accept any kind of wrongful, sinful behavior on her part since she's clearly crazy yet being unable to admit it doesn't come across as necessary here because of the conditioning not to accept that possible reasoning. That tends to get played out nicely in the first half here as the different investigations into her behavior only to keep getting caught up in the religious drama that occurs in here as they try everything they can to pin it on her only to find themselves stumbled by the insistence nothing out of the ordinary was occurring and that their issues all play a major part of the investigation holding itself back. Alongside that, the film's few slasher scenes aren't all that bad either with the fact that there's the chilling taboo-breaking opening attack in the church confessional where the death of a child is the prime factor here in setting this forward, the great ambush at the warehouse where he follows the masked killer into the abandoned building and leads into a fine brawl into the big battle to the ending confrontation in the church.This also manages to touch upon normal giallo motifs where the gloved killer requires a single killing device, the middle segment of the film trying to play detective for an incredibly brutal crime that takes place at the beginning of the film and several other little touches from the genre. This here is all added together into a nicely influential film that does have some really good things about it. This one here simply feels overrated than what it should. The biggest reason here is this is simply so slow going with the first murder so long into the film which manages to handle just about all of the first part of the film. The fact that the next ones come way into the second half leaves a lot of time in between the segments where nothing happens and it becomes a drag to sit through. That there is the major reason for this one to feel as it does, since this forces time away to devote to it when it doesn't need the terms as it's already been expertly given. The fact that there's also way too much time devoted to the red herring suspect that it starts to get boring after a while. There's way too much built up into a completely improbable idea that it just becomes aggravating when it introduces yet another piece of evidence that throws more fire towards the obvious red herring. All these things are responsible for it's overrated feeling.
Rated R: Violence, Language, nude pin-ups, violence-against-animals and children in jeopardy.
Day of the Dead (1985)
Great conclusion to the original series
Forced into an underground bunker, a group of survivors fight off the tumultuous advances of their military controllers against their work with the ravenous zombies around them which soon grows chaotic when the creatures get loose in the facility.
This one was a worthwhile and enjoyable effort to the series. What really helps this one is the continuation of the of the story lines here that are based on what was done elsewhere throughout the series and really follows up on a lot of those story lines. The extrapolation of the zombie curse into a worldwide plague that has forced the survivors below the surface into the bunkers where this one really gets a lot of mileage out of the cramped situation playing havoc with the teams down there and is such a logical scenario that it's wholly appropriate here. That carries into the actions here as there's the next step by studying and research the brings about the different experiments to determine and reverse the effects of zombisim, which runs for the majority of the time here dealing with the doctors' work and experiments which also comes with the biggest and most noteworthy aspects involving the domesticated zombie. Those are all quite enjoyable with the training as well as the reasoning behind the teachings is quite a logical move to keep the series going along nicely here while allowing for the film's best overall part in the unrelenting, full-on gore. This one truly delivers here on both zombies and humans where the zombies are dissected and carved up in order to obscure their experiments on while also being subjected to the usual bullet-splatter throughout their bodies while the humans are bitten into, dismembered, have their skin ripped off and are pulled to pieces and devoured in excruciatingly gruesome, graphic moments that are incredibly fun overall here. Combined with the usual over-the-top zombie make-up all featured in the thrilling action-packed final half of the zombies overrunning the facility in a spectacular series of action scenes that make-up the best features against the one lone detrimental and truly damaging flaw found here. The contentious relationships of everyone continually yelling and screaming at each other all throughout the first half is not only tough to watch trying to get into the story but also makes it nearly impossible to believe they were ever friendly and cordial to each other throughout their story, a crucial part of the storyline here. This here is what holds it back somewhat.
Rated UR/NC-17: Extreme Graphic Violence and Extreme Graphic Language.
30 Days of Night (2007)
A surprisingly fun and enjoyable vampire effort
Holded off in an Alaskan town the few remaining left during a month of eternal darkness finds the town under a constant attack from vampires looking to feed and must fend them off in order to save themselves.
This one was quite an enjoyable and fun vampire effort. Among the better qualities here is the long build-up to the vampires arriving, which is nicely handled through a slew of chilling scenes. The first attacks on the dog kennel and the houses on the outskirts of town, complete with the couple who are dragged under the houses, as well as worker attacks and the eerie howling in the distance are shoehorned nicely around the action of how they're slowly being overtaken all manage to come together in a setting up a fine based for the bigger, better action scenes here. The best of these is the spectacular assault on the town where they relentlessly overwhelm the townspeople jumping around, ripping up bodies and generally destroying the town rather fun, which is made all the more fun by the overhead viewpoint showing the streets and snowbanks littered with blood and feeding on the bodies around here. There's also quite a few other attacks in here, from a thrilling encounter on the streets where they overrun a car, the attacks of the station and all the fun of the later half which features the ambush in the general store, the encounter in the house and another big escape attempt through the streets using a giant machine-tractor tearing through their ranks in breaking up the bodies that makes for a great time here. As well, the finale here makes for some really enjoyable times with the final battling in the building, the big rescue attempt to get the friends' free and then the over-the-top final battle amid the burning town with some nice visual action, a brutal brawl and a fine finale which makes for a great finish on a high note. Along with the film's gore and impressive overall look for the vampires, these manage to hold this one up compared to the few minor flaws here. The biggest issue here is the film's inability to get the characters on the same page here in regards to what they're facing which leads them through a long stretch of time being defensive when it easily could've been going on the offensive to ward them off. The inability to grasp this concept makes for a lot of their actions suspect in terms of keeping their chances of staying alive down. Finally, the vampires themselves aren't all that scary. These here are the film's flaws.
Rated R: Graphic Violence and Graphic Language.
The Nest (1988)
Rather fun if clichéd killer bug effort
Trying to clean up the town, a small island preparing for the upcoming summer tourist season finds the area overrun by the release of a mutated swarm of cockroaches from a nearby experiment facility and must try to stop the deadly creatures.
This here was quite a decent enough creature feature. One of the film's better elements is the rather fun time this one has in the beginning where it sets up their impact on the island, bringing up the insects' involvement quite well. The first few animal attacks are a great start, being incredibly creepy scenes showing their eye- view scurrying across the underbrush after the critters as well as the accompanying buzzing sounds that go along with them which all makes for quite a nice build-up here before turning it over to the first attacks on the townspeople. From the attack on the lonely worker in the car graveyard to the diner ambush, a chilling sequence at the house where they awake to the bugs crawling all over the house as well as the later double attack in the store-owner's home. Other great scenes come from the great fun of the bugs appearing around town as there's truly fun and enjoyable scenes here in their attack on the diner which is great with the roaches appearing all over the place and putting the whole area to use in order to stop them, the rather tense and thrilling encounter at the mayor's house which not only features the chilling attempts to keep them out along with the inclusion of the giant mutated bug creature that's quite fun as well as the big battle in the lighthouse at the house which all has plenty of great action scenes with the chilling bugs. There's also some chilling scenes in the cave finale where the bright light and dark rocky caves has a rather chilling atmosphere that makes it work nicely with the suspenseful encounters trying to get out while also featuring the last bits of the cheesy creature gore which occurs here. Along with the film's rather breezy pace and rather 80s-era special effects work in the gore and creature effects, these here make this one enjoyable enough for the time- period. There's a few minor flaws here, which mostly stems from the fact that there's just so many tried-and-true clichés featured here that there's little originality to what's happening here, which makes this a pretty shock-less effort with this running through everything so readily and being easy-to-guess at what's going to occur that there's no real surprise in how it all plays out. Not only that, but it also plays into the film's human protagonists where it features the slimy official who won't do anything despite overwhelming evidence that something's not right, the sketchy doctor with their own personal agenda and the expected love triangle that's none too interesting getting played out like normal here and really helps to sell the clichés present. As well, there's also some potentially disturbing and hard-to-watch scenes here where they really have animals in distress on-screen to showcase some of the attack scenes with the cockroaches and it's not explicit in their actions but wholly uncomfortable seeing such moments however brief they are, even though there really is nothing graphic shown to indicate that. Otherwise, there's not a whole lot wrong here.
Rated R: Graphic Violence, violence against animals and Language.
Final Destination 2 (2003)
Simply wonderful and watchable sequel
When a vivid premonition stops here from participating in a massive accident, a woman tries to convince those she's saved that the strange accidents they're involved in are a matter of death insuring his plans are carried out and tries to stop them.
This one was an immensely enjoyable sequel that really rivals the original. Among the better qualities here is that this one manages to really portray a truer sense of dread and suspense about the situation as this one really gets a lot of great facts about the surroundings really affecting everyday life. This one really bridges that concept from the first one even further here by making the accidents seem so far out of of logical realms that they're simply, truly accidents brought about through actual, honest coincidences which makes for a rather tense time throughout the first half b building this through the repeated visions, the first few deaths and the call-backs to what happened in the original. This is compounded by the tendency here to showcase the warning signs rather well here as the suspenseful nature of these supposed encounters is some incredible foreshadowing on what's going to happen, and the fact that there's some rather creepy moments from these issues makes this quite fun. The film's best feature, though, is based off the most impressive part of the story here in it's really freaky action-packed encounters here starting with the film's high-point of the opening car crash. There's a fine piece of spectacle to be had here in seeing the kind of high-impact mangling of cars, vehicular stunt- work and continued continuations that not only provide this one with plenty of suspense building up to the crash, action with all the different spectacle encounters as well as the gory deaths along the way. Other big scenes here, from the insanely tense encounter in the doctor's office with several close calls here with the different traps with the electrified water almost getting here and the different false reactions here to the eventual death, the scenes in the apartment are really fun with the false scares followed by the actual kill in the lobby following the revelations found earlier and the absolutely fun encounter in the field makes for a great scene with the splendid set-up in the care beforehand which ties their fates into the original as well as showing another big crash and the fun, over-the-top kills that are present here makes this one incredibly fun. These here are the film's good points which manages to hold off the few flaws here. It's all in the finale here which really seems to meander around with numerous side-plots, rather middling suspense scenes and the rare occasions where the traps just seem contrived and the whole affair seems to be quite the letdown from what came before it. There's also the small factor of this one going for the same route the original in terms of how the story's paid off, but it's not as big a deal here. Otherwise, this one was quite the impressive enough sequel.
Rated R: Graphic Violence, Graphic Language, Brief Nudity and drug use.
House of Wax (2005)
Pretty decent slasher entry
Traveling together for a road trip to a football game, a group of friends stumble upon a small, demented town home to maniacal, murderous twins entombing victims in the town's wax museum and must find away to stop them and get away alive.
This was a highly enjoyable if only slightly flawed effort. One of the better elements here to this one is the absolutely amazing and breathtaking work done on the set for the titular museum, for there's a lot of time there and it truly lives up to the title with everything made of wax, from the sculptures and figures to the decorations around the rooms and even the building itself which is quite an impressive look throughout here. The eeriness of that look comes from the chilling tactic of encompassing the victim completely in wax which creatures a marvelous look that comes off well here as well as being responsible for several of the film's most eerie and chilling scenes here. The most impressive is the wax-shower contraption which covers the entire body, and a later scene where the stumble upon an encrusted victim and begin peeling it away only to rip chunks of flesh off instead which is insanely chilling. What makes it all the better is the connection to the stalking and slashing here, allowing for the church scene where she first comes across their macabre intentions while hiding from one of the maniacs, a chase amongst the statues at the museum down into the basement and a frantic encounter in the movie theater sitting amongst the rows of statues trying to remain undetected as he stalks them which is a really eerie series of scenes here. The other big slasher scenes here are a lot of fun when it goes into the abandoned factory after the lone girl or the early chases through the town's streets which are quite fun, though really can't compare to the finale in the museum as the fine melting wax provides a fantastic base for the fine brawling and chasing amongst the flaming walls as the chase to get out is a fantastic action scene. Along with the creepy-looking killers and some solid gore, there's enough here to old this off from the few small flaws here. The biggest issue here is the clichéd and uninteresting background for the killers which is just so underwhelming being such a commonly utilized story that it doesn't really impress at all. There's also the lengthy amount of time it takes getting going being stuck with this unlikely group of friends doing nothing of interest for an incredibly long time which does wear thin here. These here are the film's only flaws.
Rated R: Graphic Violence, Graphic Language and brief scenes with dead animals.
The Reptile (1966)
Rather troubling and disjointed if slightly enjoyable effort
Following a relative's death, a man and his wife head off to the remote village to inherit a new house unknowing of the bizarre experiments a neighbor conducted that has unleashed a terrifying monster, forcing them to kill the creature before more are harmed.
This turned out to be an utterly disappointing effort overall. Among the main problem here is the rather wretched and atrocious pacing featured since the film is just an utter bore as nothing really happens at all. While this one manages to get a lot out of the straightforward and consistent story, for the most part it's just basically a repetition of one of three different scenes and it really drags the film out to a lurching halt not only with the lack of action but also the general continuation of these same specific scenes and set-ups recurring throughout the film. We either have the villagers giving them the cold shoulder, the local doctor getting upset at them for no reason or everyone is sitting around talking about the death of the first person, and none of it really comes off in any way enjoyable. The villagers' hostility towards the new couple arriving into town reeks of nothing more than cliché now and manages to feel totally unwarranted with the continued usage of the tactic being so completely expected as well as feeling so unnecessary to the events that it feels like excess padding when they continually get run out of town. The party scenes with the doctor at his house are quite dull and really don't serve any kind of solid purpose other than to bring about the storyline ruse about their past endeavors traveling the world yet go on for so long that his company seems hardly that interesting in the case where it's presented here, and there's so long into the film before they even decide to investigate the first murder that it seems like an afterthought despite being the main clue that zeros them in on what's going on. That overwhelming sense of boredom afflicts the film to the point where it's monster attacks don't even start until the fifty- five minute mark, the creature isn't revealed until ten minutes into the finale, and we break up the action to get the full back-story revealed to us before it starts up the action again which makes all of this really troubling. Along with the somewhat cheesy-looking creature effects that aren't imposing at all, these here hold this one back. There's still some rather fun parts here, most of which coming from the fact that the Gothic flavors are still in full effect and it really works those to full effect with the small- town village on the outskirts of town which manages to generate that famous Hammer atmosphere so often utilized in their films, most notably in a graveyard excavation sequence in the pouring rain. Coupled with the engrossing storyline where brings out some rather novel ideas with the concept of the creature's cult origins and overall backstory that's on display here. Also, as expected in this kind of the film it manages to get some good action towards the end where it gets the prototypical burning-down-the-house finale which starts off in the basement pit before making it's way through the rest of the house giving this a great finish, but it's just so deathly dull you'll fall asleep before it gets to the good stuff.
Today's Rating/PG: Violence.
Strong and highly entertaining Spanish giallo effort
After a series of brutal murders, a Milan police detective and his girlfriend struggle to find the connection between the victims until a break in the case points them to a rather curious prospective culprit as the killing spree continues to terrorize the city.
This here turned out to be quite the fun and enjoyable Spanish giallo. Despite not being from the prototypical country that produced these films, the fact that it feels so close in structure and overall tone to the Italian models make for quite an incredible time here. The opening starts off with some rather enjoyable old- school giallo set-ups in the opening ambush attacks on first the drug addict and a later scene of the prostitute out on her walk stumbling into the killer which seem like entertaining giallo set- pieces. With the emphasis on focusing on the black-gloved killer, the twisting story-line that brings along numerous red herrings and potential suspects winding along throughout here and outlandish, gory kills there's plenty of incredibly fun nods to the more proficient Italian models being produced as well. The most impactful part, though, is the sleaze and weirdness aspects here which is quite fun getting both of these involved in the film from the absolutely fun way it works the striptease burlesque show and the intervening display where she gets pimped out for the guy who enjoys necrophiliac sex-play before finding the killer involved in the proceedings, a rather inviting bit of topless armchair clue-solving and a really exciting foot-chase through an amusement park against a cross-dresser that ultimately ends with a gunfight on a roller- coaster that's a great action scene as well as the kind of enjoyably trashy aesthetic that comes with the idea of the man chasing him down while in drag. The fact that there's a lot to like here with the main mystery, from the reasoning behind the dragonfly pins and the connection to the past which comes with the whole meaning in the current rampage against the specific targets here makes this a wholly enjoyable and engaging story-line that plays out rather well in setting up the nice finale, which all manages to make this one fun enough to hold out over it's few flaws. The biggest issue here is the fact that there's not a whole lot of action here in between the confrontations, with this one tending to go for a series of action-packed spurts only to slow down quite a bit before ramping up again, and that does leave a rather sluggish pace at times. As well, there's the weird inclusion of the Nazi biker gang which really seems to be thrown in for no reason and makes no special significance to their appearance. Along with the rather underwhelming finale that just seems to end without much fanfare which is rather disconcerting, but does tend to stick out here but otherwise these here do hold this one back somewhat.
Rated Unrated/R: Graphic Violence, Language, Full Nudity and drug use.
Bone Eater (2007)
Average Sci-Fi Channel Creature Feature
Following an accident at a local dig, a local sheriff finds that the series of incidents around town are the result of a released Native American demon through the construction project and must find a way of stopping its rampage through town.
This one wasn't all that bad of an effort but did have some flaws to it. Among the few good parts here is the relatively high body count featured here that really makes for quite a fun time here as there's a lot of rather enjoyable encounters throughout. The opening resurrection at the site where it massacres the workers is quite fun, as well as the sequence where it takes out the archaeological diggers, the ambush at the side road where it gets the couple by their truck and another rather fun attack as it appears and takes out a series of guards while dealing with the workers and the local tribe at the construction site which is quite fun with the mystical incantations against it as all of these scenes are really enjoyable. There's also the rather fun scenes here with the spirit chasing after the dirt-bikers on a ghostly steed across the desert dunes and a latter high-speed chase down the highway which is highly fun, cheesy action scenes that gives this some fun action moments. As well, the creature here could've been quite fun here as this has some potentially enjoyable aspects here with its imposing appearance made of bones assembled into a fine-looking beast complete with a crown of bones as well as some fine weaponry, a really unique and inventive backstory that ties it into the area and a pretty clever way of finally dealing with it for a pretty nice main creature here and ends up being what holds it up over the several flaws here. Among the film's biggest issues here is the fact that there's absolutely no blood or gore here as the creature's attacks are never given to include the chance for any by being portrayed as him disintegrating them into a cloud of mass. There's a speculation that it's turning the victims into bones but just vaporizing them into a vapor of smoke isn't that appealing anyway trying to showcase this, and given the high body count there's some chances here to really have had some fun with the creature like this and it's wholly disappointing. Another big flaw here is the lame and utterly ridiculous CGI on display, which is used on the creature to make it so cheap and unconvincing that despite the cool-looking appearance it comes off laughable that it was allowed to pass through and completed here as it's simply a non-stop series of the usually- associated tropes of the style. The only other part here that holds this back is the totally unrealistic and over-the-top manner of the businessman's attitude towards the tribe which borders on ludicrous with how he expects what's happening to the relics left there that are continually being dug up, forcing more to hide. Otherwise, this one was quite decent.
Rated PG-13: Violence and some Language.
Rock Monster (2008)
There's worse ones out there
Traveling through Eastern Europe, a group of friends manage to remove a sword stuck in a rock, which soon unleashes a deadly monster made of rock upon the town and forces them to uncover his heritage to stop it.
This here wasn't that bad of a creature feature. One of the main factors is the rather nice story for the film being a rather nice change of pace to have it take place elsewhere than the US, and the Eastern Europe setting here is rather nice and feels welcome. It also allows for their traditions and standards, as well as fears and legends that are incorporated here to come across as really neat, from the complicated back-story, itself another highlight as well as the really detailed explanation sequence that contains a nice battle and contributes to the strong story. Another factor is the reasonably well-done and exciting action scene in here, which are more plentiful than expected. The confrontations with the creature are really nice, especially the initial encounter in the woods which amounts to a rather fun car chase as the creature comes at them through the woods, ending in a brutal car crash, and their later forest attack does have some good stuff to come from it as the gunfire and scattering troops is quite fun along with the final resolution that knocks the monster out. An attack on the village later on is really great, as the fun monster movie rampage comes complete with throwing people around into the surroundings and some unique counters to the creature, mainly flamethrowers and a tank brought into play. The last really good part to it is the conclusion, which is pretty creative bringing in the fantasy and sorcery battles against the creature that leads to a bigger action scene than imagined. These here are the film's good points that hold up over the few negatives. The main issue here is the actual creature itself, as there's nothing about it other than the size to be imposing as the overall design is inherently ludicrous and never comes close to be readily believable. The thing's so top heavy that it's nearly impossible to believe it can move around, nonetheless walk around and sneak up on victims, since it has several surprise attacks that don't have any reason to believe could've happened with something of that design. As well, it's once again being conceived through the usually atrocious CGI that comes with all the big trappings there. This just makes the film look all the cheaper, especially with the fact that more than just the creature this time around was done with CGI. The battle in the streets of the town, with the battle carrying on even though a hanger-on is flopping around like no human could, and the conclusion out in the rocky hills is even worse with all the fantasy elements brought to bear in the scene. The last flaw here is the rather confusing ending to the first battle in the forest. It ends way too quickly and easily for them to take it seriously, and it just doesn't seem believable that they could make it to the later portion without feeling something was off. These here are the film's few flaws.
Rated R: Violence and Language.